A NEW package of funding – as part of a ‘new deal’ announced by the government – will give Nelson up to £1million to spend on improvements.

The town will receive between £500,000 and £1m to spend on projects such as improvements to parks, high streets and local transport.

However, local leaders have warned that it is a “drop in the ocean” compared to what is needed.

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson said he was delighted about the announcement and said it would enable the town to accelerate plans to transform the area.

Mr Stephenson said: “I am delighted that Nelson will receive at least £500,000 from the Stronger Towns fund this year – ahead of schedule – enabling local leaders to accelerate plans that will transform our area and help Pendle to thrive as we move beyond the coronavirus pandemic.

“I welcome the Prime Minister’s commitment to invest in infrastructure to unite and level up the country as we come through the coronavirus pandemic.

“The £5billion to bring forward infrastructure projects of all types, from better connected, more modern high streets to new schools and roads, will help to create new jobs and opportunities across Britain, and I will be fighting to ensure our area gets its fair share.”

Pendle Council leader Cllr Mohammed Iqbal also welcomed the announcement, but said the government should “put its money where its mouth is” to fix long-term funding issues.

He said: “While I welcome any investment in the town, clearly it’s not enough to address some of the projects we want to do.

“If they are really serious about regenerating areas across Pendle, they should actually put their money where their mouth is

"Actions speak louder than words.

“So, I welcome the drop in the ocean but I look forward to additional funds to really address the inequalities that we have faced over a number of years.”

Since 2010, Pendle has had its funding reduced by around £15m and faces significant financial issues following high levels of spending to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

So far, the government has pledged £3.2billion to local authorities throughout the pandemic to help them keep key local services running.